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The 5 best new Alexa features for Amazon Echo in your home and car and how to use them



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Amazon added more new features to its Echo devices.

Ian Knighton / CNET

Amazon regularly adds new features to its Echo devices and Alexa voice assistant designed to make your life easier. Some of the latest include that Alexa has to pay for your gasoline so you do not have to pull out your card and call your emergency contact if you are unable to do so to your phone.

Last month, Amazon released new features which lets you go hands-free in its app, upload photos to your Echo Show and start your daily routines with just your voice. Here are the latest updates of your Amazon Echo and Alexa voice assistant and how you can get started with them today.

Pay for your petrol with Alexa

Did you forget to take your card before leaving the house? As of Tuesday, you can now use Alexa to pay for your petrol at more than 11,000 Exxon and Mobil petrol stations.

Amazon Pay processes the transactions so that you can use the same standard payment method that you use on your Amazon account. To get started, just say “Alexa, pay for gas” and follow the on-screen instructions to activate the pump. Payment is processed after you have pumped petrol.

You can use the new feature in the Alexa app or Alexa-enabled devices such as Echo Auto, which is a $ 35 device that snaps into your car and connects to your phone’s mobile data. If you use your phone, you must have the Alexa app open.

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Pay for petrol with your Echo Auto.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Call your emergency contact

Amazon has added a new security feature that lets Alexa call and text your emergency contact when you say “Alexa, call for help.”

To set the new function, open the Alexa app, select Communicate and tap the contact icon in the upper right corner. Scroll through your contact list and select a person. Tap Add as emergency contactand select OK.

Alexa will contact your emergency contact when someone in your household asks Alexa to call for help. Please note that your emergency contact must have a US telephone number and that their telephone must be switched on.

Emergency call is available on all native Alexa-enabled devices that support Alexa calls, e.g. Amazon Echo 2019, Echo Dot and Echo Show.

Listen to Pandora podcasts on your Echo

Pandora podcasts are now available to listen on your Amazon Echo device. To listen to your favorite Pandora podcast, just say “Alexa, play [podcast name] podcast on Pandora. “

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Listen to your favorite Pandora podcasts on your Echo.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Less noisy messages and group submissions

Amazon has improved how you send messages and fall into groups with its Voice Focus feature. The update is designed to dampen annoying background noises such as outdoor noise or barking dogs. You do not have to do anything for this to work, it is automatically part of the Voice Focus update.

Get school updates for your kids on your Echo

The school is different this year, but Alexa can help keep track of upcoming assignments and due dates when using skills from Canvas, Infinite Campus, Coursera and more. You need to find out what skill your school is using and activate it in the Alexa app.

Once you have activated the skill and entered your information, just ask “Alexa, are there any updates from the school?”

Want to know more things you can do with your smart speaker? Here is three Amazon Echo security features to enable when you leave the house, best uses for Amazon Echo in your bedroom and five outdated things that Amazon Echo can replace in your home.






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